Municipal governments issue joint letter to the construction industry on essential services

covid 19

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Four municipal governments in cottage country issued a joint letter to the construction industry on essential services last week.

Effective April 5, 2020, the building departments for the municipalities of Algonquin Highlands, Dysart et al, Highlands East, and Minden Hills stopped issuing any new building or septic permits.

“We know there are many projects in the final stages of design and are ready for submission for application,” the building inspectors wrote in a letter. “We will continue to accept applications for review, but will not issue the permit until the Province lifts the emergency order. We encourage those wishing to apply for a permit to do so electronically.”

Building inspections will continue  on projects that were started prior to April 4, , subject to COVID-19 safe work practices. Call the respective municipality to book these inspections. Inspectors will not enter a premises that is occupied.

According to the letter, conditions do not exempt an individual from rectifying an unsafe condition. If a municipality places an order on a property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to remedy the situation within the timelines and requirements of the municipality.

Septic systems that have failed or require repair in accordance with an Order to Remedy will receive a permit for replacement.

Building Department staff are not responsible for confirming what workplaces are essential and communicating only what inspections we are able to complete.

Essential Workplaces information is available by calling the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 or by visiting the website


  1. The Stop the Spread Business Information Line agents will just reads you the information available on, they don’t have any authority to do anything more, I’ve also talked to multiple municipal bylaw officers that read me the same information, they both said the only way to get information is by calling an MPP representing the location of the construction project and making a specific appeal to bring before the provincial government.


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